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Hill’s hunger strike leaves him unbowed

ENGLISH maverick Stuart Hill remains unbowed in his campaign to “expose” Shetland’s right to declare itself independent of outside authority, despite a 12 day hunger strike in Aberdeen prison.

The 69 year old from Cunningsburgh was thrown behind bars after he failed to appear in court on 12 July to explain why he had not carried out an order for unpaid work.

Hill said he had been working on his tri-maran boat when he was arrested and brought to the dock the following day, where he was remanded in custody until last Wednesday.

In court Hill said he would be prepared to complete his community service, but insisted this did not amount to accepting the jurisdiction of the court.

“It was a compromise,” he said at the weekend. “I don’t propose to get into the criminal system again, but having been there it now offers no threat.”

However he has now vowed to take his case to the Criminal Case Review Commission, and further if necessary, in his campaign to prove the Scottish, British and European political and legal systems have no say over his life, or that of anyone else in these isles.

The short jail sentence is the most severe consequence Hill has faced since 2008 when he stepped up his campaign after declaring a 2.5 acre islet off Shetland as the independent state of Forvik.

His latest court appearances come after he was arrested for driving two vans without tax, MOT or insurance, saying they were consular vehicles for his island state.

He was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work, but stopped after completing 42 of them. When he failed to explain why, he was arrested and sent to Craiginches prison on remand.

As soon as he was arrested he refused to eat or drink, but after five days he started taking a cup of water morning and night until his release.

“It was a protest. I thought it was completely unwarranted and heavy handed for me to be there,” he said.

He also asked to be placed in a cell on his own after becoming unnerved by his cell mate’s behavior.

“He was a drug dealer who had been using marijuana for a long time and I believe that makes you paranoid. One minute he would be talking perfectly normally about Shetland and the next moment he became really agitated.”

He said that he had not felt at all intimidated “despite being a well spoken Englishman surrounded by Glaswegian and other drug dealers”, and the experience had left him feeling “buoyed”.

“The more extreme my treatment gets, the closer I know I am getting to a proper answer.

“This is certainly not an ego trip. I could well do without it, but I feel there is a basic injustice which has been perpetuated on Shetland which I aim to expose.

“It matters not to me what people do when it is exposed. I am not telling Shetland what to do. I believe I am doing what is right.”

He says he lives in hope of finding an impartial judge to hear his arguments, outlined in a 71 page document he has sported at various courts around the country.

At the same time he appears to accept he has little ground for such hope. “Can you imagine a sheriff, a judge or three judges sitting together coming to a decision in my favour. It’s just not politically possible.”

Meanwhile he is at home regaining the stone in weight he lost while refusing food in prison, working on his boat and preparing his next step in annoying the authorities.

He says he will also be contesting his bankruptcy, after having his claim for £23 million damages from Royal Bank of Scotland thrown out by Lord Pentland, who affirmed earlier this month that Shetland is legally part of the UK.